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Faculty Personnel Policies

B17 Faculty Benefits
(See also sections 18-21)

  1. General Policies

    1. Eligibility:

      All faculty who are on regular appointment at 0.75 FTE or greater (see B2.a1) are entitled to all the benefits described in this section. Visiting faculty and faculty on term appointments are eligible for inclusion in hospitalization and health insurance, life insurance, travel accident insurance, and Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Insurance, but are excluded from the tuition waiver, INVEST retirement fund (see B21.b), and long-term disability insurance, unless specific provision is made in their individual contracts. Normally, full benefits are extended to visiting faculty and faculty on term appointments after the completion of one full year of service to the College.
      Part-time faculty hired before July 1, 2006 are included in the tuition waiver program on the terms described below. Adjunct faculty are also included in the INVEST retirement fund (see B21.b).

    2. Prior notification of any reduction in benefits or increase in cost to the faculty of the benefits program will be given no later than the date of issuance of contracts (normally March 15) following consultation with the Professional Interests Committee, or a faculty subcommittee which reports to the Professional Interests Committee, and following clearance through the Administrative Affairs Board for inclusion in the Faculty Handbook.

    3. All necessary forms for participation in the benefits program can be obtained from the Office of Human Resources.

  2. Benefits

    1. Hospitalization and Health Insurance

      Eligible faculty may elect to participate in the College group health insurance plan, a major portion of the cost of which is paid by Hope College.  The plan provides basic medical/surgical coverage and major medical protection.  Selection of a plan option is made upon employment and changes may be made annually during the open enrollment period.  Full information on the plan is available in the Human Resources Office.

    2. Long-Term Disability Insurance

      The College continues to offer supplemental Medicare insurance for faculty members upon retirement at age 65 or later.  If a faculty member becomes disabled, the insurance will pay 60% of the basic monthly earnings not to exceed the current maximum allowable monthly benefit ($6,000 as of 1998).  Payments begin after six months of disability and continue until age 65 or when the employee can return to work.  The College pays the full contracted salary for the first six months.
      The plan will deduct from the monthly benefit amounts received from Social Security, Workers' Compensation, and any other payments received as a result of a Hope College benefit plan.  Thus the maximum will be 60% from all sources unless one has other personal disability insurance.
      An additional 10% of coverage may be purchased through long-term disability supplementary insurance.  Income received under the Supplemental Plan is taxable. Full benefit details are available in the plan booklet provided to each participant.

    3. Life Insurance

      All full-time members of the faculty are covered by term life insurance. The entire premium is paid by the College. The amount of the insurance is equal to $12,000 plus one-and-one-half times the academic year contract salary. Life insurance terminates when the faculty member leaves the College. Beneficiaries are designated by the faculty member, and may be changed at any time.

    4. Travel Accident Insurance

      The College provides accident insurance for all faculty members while traveling on College business, or on an approved activity outside the campus limits. The coverage provides accidental death and dismemberment insurance in principal amount of $50,000. Coverage is automatic. A faculty absence form should be completed by a faculty member before departure on such College business so that there is no question about the College related nature of the travel.

    5. Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Insurance

      The College maintains policies which fulfill the requirements of state and federal laws.

    6. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

      The Employee Assistance Center provides Hope College employees with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  This benefit is designed to offer confidential assistance to Hope employees, their immediate family members, and significant others whose personal problems affect quality of life and/or job performance.   The Employee Assistance Program provides access to professional Masters degree-level counselors in offices throughout West Michigan (including Holland, Grand Haven, Grandville, and Grand Rapids).   The program provides up to 6 visits with a counselor at no cost to the employee or family.

      The Center can be contacted at (800) 227-0905.  Client Service Representatives are available during the day to schedule an appointment, but counselors are available 24 hours a day for urgent matters. For additional resources for work/life situations, visit the EAC website (access passwords are available on the Human Resources website).

    7. Tuition Waiver:


      The tuition waiver applies to eligible members of the faculty, their spouses, their children by birth or adoption (to age 30, without a dependency requirement), and their dependent stepchildren (to age 25, with a dependency requirement).

      Dependent status shall be granted to those unmarried, stepchildren that have been members of the Hope College employee’s family for a minimum of three years prior to their first application for a tuition waiver. As a member of the employee’s family, it is required that the stepchild’s regular, permanent residence be the same as the Hope College employee. Upon request, the Hope College employee shall verify that the stepchild has met the residency requirement.

      Those eligible may receive a complete or partial waiver of tuition when enrolling in courses offered by Hope College, including off-campus programs sponsored and administered by Hope College, such as the Washington Honors Semester and the programs of the Philadelphia Center. (For GLCA consortial programs, see below regarding the reciprocal plan.) The tuition waiver does not apply to costs other than tuition itself.

      The tuition waiver will be complete or partial according to the following table:

      1. For eligible full-time and fractional-time faculty and their families, 100%.

      2. For adjunct part-time faculty hired before July 1, 2006 and their families, 100% of a pro-rated amount based on their average annual workload, based on twenty-four (24) credit hours per year as the full-time equivalent (see B8.d3c) above), over the latest three-year period.

      3. For other part-time faculty hired before July 1, 2006 and their families, 10% per year of service (up to a maximum of 100% after 10 years of service) of a pro-rated amount based on their average annual workload, using 24 credit hours per year as the full-time equivalent, over the previous 3-year period.

      4. For the children of full-time and fractional-time faculty members hired prior to July 1, 2006 and deceased while in the employment of the College, ten per cent (10%) of the normal benefit for each year of service completed.

    Faculty on a full-time regular appointment (see B2.a1) are eligible to participate in a reciprocal tuition-waiver plan (Tuition Remission Exchange) which exists among the twelve member colleges of the Great Lakes Colleges Association and two colleges of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. Faculty on a fractional-time regular appointment (see B2.a1) who were hired into at least a .67 FTE position prior to the academic year 1999-2000 are also eligible to participate in this program. Details of this plan are available in the Human Resources Office. Application must be made at the Human Resources Office in advance of registration for each semester or term in which the tuition waiver is sought.

    Benefit Description:

    The waiver will be applied to the student account under the following conditions:

        1. The waiver will be calculated on the basis of net tuition charges after all other scholarships/grants have been determined.

        2. Financial aid will exclude loans but will include all forms of gift assis­tance. Only students enrolled prior to 2008-09 academic year will have the exception of Hope sponsored merit scholarships used to live on campus.

        3. Effective with the 2008-09 award year, for all incoming, first-time, degree-seeking Hope / GLCA TW beneficiary, the following applies:
          • All internal and external gift assistance, including Hope merit scholarships and all other scholarships, grants, and benefits (with the exception of the Federal Pell Grant and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) are considered applicable only to a student’s tuition charges; such gift assistance is not applicable to a student’s room/board/activity fee charges or expenses. The TW benefit is calculated by applying the appropriate benefit percentage against the student’s net tuition charges. Net tuition charges are those charges remaining after all other gift aid awards (excluding Federal Pell/Supplemental Grants) are applied against the student’s total tuition charges.
          • If, in any given award year, a student receives gift aid (i.e., scholarships and grants) from internal Hope sources and/or external sources that in combination exceed tuition, a beneficiary can choose to receive the greater amount of gift aid and thereby forfeit TW eligibility during the enrollment period s/he receives said gift aid.

        4. Effective with the 2007-08 academic year, TW beneficiaries are limited to ten (10) semesters of eligibility under this program (regardless of part-time/full-time enrollment). Any beneficiary who at the effective date of this policy has already received 10 semesters of assistance under the Hope/GLCA Tuition Waiver program, is ineligible to receive any further assistance in 2007-08 and beyond. A summer term is not counted as a semester; however, once the 10-semester limit is reached, the student is ineligible to receive the TW for subsequent summer term enrollment. Any semester during which a student enrolls at Hope while dually enrolled in high school is not counted as a semester in monitoring this 10-semester limitation. The 30 th birthday age limitation will still apply.

          1. This provision does not impact spouses of faculty or staff.
          2. This policy change does not alter the age limitation of 25 for step-children. However, step-children do fall under this 10 semester limitation.


    Death and Disability Benefits:

    Spouses and dependent children of employees on long-term permanent dis­ability will be eligible for benefits. Eligibility will be based on years of service prior to dis­ability. If an em­ployee dies while in the service of the College or on disability leave, the following provisions will apply:

    1. Natural or adopted children will receive a 10% tuition waiver for each year of service completed by the employee. This waiver will apply until the child has reached 30 years of age. Only those dependent non-adopted, step-children eligible at the time of the employee's death will continue to be eligible to the age of 25.

    2. Spouses will be entitled to the same tuition waiver benefits that were in effect when the employee was living. Spouse benefits will be discon­tinued if the spouse remarries.


    Retirement Benefits:

    When an employee retires from active service, tuition waiver benefits will be extended to them and their spouse. Benefits will be available to natural and adopted children until they reach the age of 30 and to dependent stepchildren until they reach the age of 25. Benefits awarded to non-dependent natural and adopted children will be treated as taxable income to the retired employee. To be considered a retiree for the purpose of this benefit, an employee must have attained the normal retire­ment age of sixty-five or retired under an early retirement plan approved by the College.


    If an employee terminates his/her employment prior to the start of any semester or mini-session, the tuition waiver will not apply for that semester or any thereafter.

    If an employee terminates his/her employment during a semester or mini-session, the tuition waiver will remain in effect for that semester only. No further tuition waivers will be granted.

    Application Procedure:

    1. The required tuition waiver form must be completed prior to each semester the benefit is desired. Forms are available at the Human Resources Office.

    2. The Financial Aid Office must be contacted to determine if financial aid sources may be available. If so, the required financial aid statement must be filed within the deadlines. Contact the Director of Financial Aid for forms and information.

    3. The tuition waiver form must be completed and returned to the Human Resources Office for processing. The Financial Aid Office also completes part of the form and the entire process may take several weeks. The employee will be responsible for paying all amounts not covered by the waiver on a timely basis.



    Eligible Programs

    Tuition covered by the waiver includes only the following:

    1. Hope College on-campus courses
    2. Student teaching, and
    3. Off-campus courses listed below which are sponsored by Hope College.
      1. May-June-Summer Sessions
      2. Washington Semester
      3. Philadelphia Semester
      4. Vienna Summer School


    Dependent Status

    To be considered a dependent child, the dependency test as outlined by the Internal Revenue Service will be used. The student must be a dependent on the federal tax return for the calendar year the tuition waiver is used. Benefits awarded to non-dependents will be treated as taxable income to the employee and added to the W-2 form.

    1. Faculty Travel Fund

      This fund, budgeted and administered through the divisional deans' offices, contributes a major portion of the expenses involved in travel to professional meetings and conferences that promise to further faculty growth and improve the institutional program.
      Support toward the actual expense is normally provided for approved travel by faculty who are:
      1. Program Participants in the meetings

      2. office-holders in the association sponsoring the meetings, or

      3. representing the College at the request of the administration.

      Limitations on transportation costs are a per-mile amount when private cars are used, or air coach fare, whichever is more economical.
      For faculty members attending professional meetings as observers or general participants, payment is normally limited to transportation (as above) and a per diem.
      Information on the current mileage and per diem figure is available from the Business Office. When College cars are used for faculty travel, the mileage amount will be charged against the appropriate Divisional Dean's travel budget.  A College credit card is provided for operational costs.
      Since the Faculty Travel Fund is a budgeted item and has limits, faculty members should make application for use of these funds as far in advance as possible.  Application procedures include the faculty member's submitting two forms:

      1. The Absence Form, available in the departmental or the divisional dean's office, is the request for permission to be absent from campus and for reservation of the approximate amount of money needed to fulfill the request.  When approved by the departmental chairperson and divisional dean, it authorizes attendance and reserves these funds.

      2. The Travel Payment Request form is needed to authorize payment of funds.  Preferably, this request is submitted after the travel and includes an accurate statement of expenses incurred, with attached receipts (at least hotel, airline tickets, and other major items).  If it becomes necessary for a faculty member to request a cash advance for authorized travel, the advance is charged to a special account in his/her name, and the account is not cleared until an expense report is completed following the travel and the necessary refund or additional payment is made.

    2. Faculty Development Grants

      The College, from its current operating budget and from income from endowment funds, as well as gifts and grants designated for this purpose, annually makes grants to faculty members for summer study or research that will assist them in their development as teachers and scholars. Occasionally such grants are also available during the academic year.

      A number of special endowment funds have been established toward this end. They are listed in the College Annual Report under the category of Specified Endowed Funds – The Jacob E. Nyenhuis Faculty Development Funds. A description of each fund along with the special conditions (if any) of the annual award is set forth there. In addition, grants made to the College by charitable foundations are often available to supplement these funds. Some grant monies are designated for faculty in a specific discipline (e.g., music, religion, economics), and some are available to the faculty-at-large.

      A statement of the procedures to be followed in making application for a Faculty Development Grant is available on the Provost’s Office website.

      Applications are reviewed and awards are made by a committee composed of the faculty members of the Status Committee, divisional deans, and Provost. The Provost serves as the chairperson of the committee.

      Normally persons accepting a grant agree to return to the faculty of Hope College for the following academic year. Faculty members who have been awarded a grant and find it necessary to change their plans substantially should obtain permission from the Provost for the change or relinquish the grant by April 15. Faculty development grants are not to be used in support of degree work which can be interpreted as a normal requirement for the teaching position which a faculty member holds.

      It is expected that a faculty member receiving a summer grant will not accept summer commitments to the College which will exceed a total of eight (8) weeks not counting May Term. (Research funded through faculty development grants, teaching in the summer sessions, special administrative assignments, etc., are to be counted in the total.) Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Provost.

    3. Faculty ID Card

      Upon appointment members of the Faculty and Staff are issued an identification card which entitles them and members of their immediate family to certain privileges. These include use of the Van Wylen Library and the Dow Health and Physical Education Center, as well as free admission to most athletic events and all concerts, lectures, exhibitions, with a few exceptions, for which special faculty rates are provided.

    4. College Bookstore Discount

      Hope faculty members receive a faculty discount (currently 15%) on some books and supplies purchased at the Hope Geneva Bookstore, if paid within the month of billing.

    5. Accidental Death and Dismemberment Policy

      All full-time members of the faculty are covered by an Accidental Death and Dismemberment Policy equal to $12,000 plus one-and-one-half times the academic year contract salary.

    6. Adoption Benefit Plan

      An Adoption Benefit Payment Plan is available to all employees enrolled in the health insurance program. This is a taxable benefit. There are maximum benefits per calendar year, and during the employee's total time of service to the College. Additional information is available through the Office of Human Resources.

    7. Dow Health and Physical Education Center

      The Dow Health and Physical Education Center is open to faculty and their dependents. Detailed information on the facility and services available is published in a brochure which is distributed to new employees.

    8. Employee Liability Insurance

      All employees are covered under a general liability policy while acting within the scope of performing their duties for the College, on or off campus. The policy will protect and provide defense up to $6,000,000. Further details are available from the Office of Human Resources.

    9. Flexible Benefit Plan

      Eligible full-time employees may participate in the College-sponsored tax savings plan for medical, dental and dependent care expenses. Annual enrollment in this optional plan takes place mid-April to mid-May, and the plan year runs from July 1 to June 30.

      New employees may enroll during the first month of their employment.  Enrolled employees agree to a fixed payroll deduction and receive the benefit of lower federal, state and FICA taxes.  Employee deductions go into their personal flexible spending account.  Employees must submit a reimbursement form with receipts to receive tax-free reimbursement from their account for eligible expenses.